Thursday 23 May 2013 17:01 UTC
This forum is for anything to do with light aviation
We are planning a trip to Alicante in May 2013 in a C152. We have circa 500 hours each but neither of us have IMC or IR and therefore the flight must be VFR all the way. It would be good to hear from others that have made this trip and feel able / prepared to share the benefit of their experience with routeing suggestions before we start to get too heavily involved with the planning. We have flown to airfields in northern France before such as Le Touquet and Deauville, but only on a day trip basis.
From Le Touquet are we better to route South East via say Dijon and down to Montpellier and then along the coast skirting the Pyrenees between Perpignan and Girona, or, to route South West along the French coast crossing the Pyrenees between San Sebastian and Pamplona? With the San Sebastian / Pamplona route we are a bit concerned about the heavily restricted airspace along the French coast south of La Rochelle.
Many thanks in advance to those happy to share their valuable experience and advice.
Departing from Humberside
Every time we went up or down to /from the Alicante area (actually Muchamiel in our case) or even simply tootling on past it, we went via Perpignan
Our route from Bournemouth:-
Bournemouth - Cherbourg (LFRC) (To clear into Shengen & top up with fuel)
Chebourg - Poitiers (LFBI) (fuel)
Poitiers - Albi (LFCI) (Fuel & Food) or Castres (LFCK)
Albi - Perpignan (LFMP) (Fuel- food & sleep)
Perpignan - And then literally follow the coastline down Spain - to Alicante(LEAL) (Muchamiel - (LEMU))
Beware Alicante have some strange and restrictive rules regarding VFR traffic landing/departing there - Be prepared to be refused permission - Plan well.
Have a good trip
Signed: EGHHZXAC - Life's tough if you don't weaken.
There is 'wiggle room' even when those areas are active. Takes some nifty navigation though, but nothing beyond a fully functioning Sky Demon
But it sounds as if the other side is better
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I personally wouldn't fancy the route over the mountains via Pamplona in a heavily laden 152 (2 pax, bags, full fuel ).
The route via the Perpignan area is probably better - as has been suggested - as you can follow the coast and stay clear of the Pyrenees.
Have you thought about the following route?:
Humberside - Le Mans (customs on notice by 4pm previous day)
Le Mans - Empuriabrava
Empuriabrava - alicante.
The longest of these legs is the second one, at 363nm. So, no legs more than 3.5 to 4 hours (assuming 90 - 95 knots cruise).
Once you've cleared customs into France you don't need to worry about doing so in Spain (as its all schengen).
"Michael, tell me about the ladyboys." (Alan Partridge)
In general terms, this
Er, no they said they were in a C152.
Done this a couple of times, my route would be:
Start at Deauville, you've been there so you know what to expect up to that point and it is on the direct routing, then.....
Saumur, Bergerac, Carcassonne or Perpignan depending on where fuel is available, Girona. Then you have a choice:
1. Pick your way under the Barcelona zone and in between the mountains all the way around to Alicante or
2. My preferred route: Girona, Son Bonet Mallorca, Alicante ( with a possible stop in Ibiza if you need it).
I'm sure you are aware that there are restrictions on VFR flights into Alicante at certain times of the year?
From the AIP:
From March 16th to October 31st:
- VFR local flights are forbidden.
ARR/DEP VFR flights are forbidden on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday
Except: hospital, SAR, emergencies and state flights.
Clearance must be requested at least three working days in advance by fax to LEAL ATC number +34-965 682 657.
Business and General Aviation Traffic (IFR/VFR) is conditioned to the declared capacity. Request slot to the scheduling coordination PPR 3 HR at CEOPS office or PPR 3 HR to CEOPS LEAL;
LEAL; TEL:+34-966 919 300/415; FAX: +34-965 682 233; TEL: +34-966 919 300/415; FAX: +34-965 682 233; AFTN; LEALZPZX; SITA; ALCEXYA. LEALZPZX; SITA; ALCEXYA. Aircraft type, registration marking,
operator and the handling agent, departure and destination and date/time of ETA and ETD must be included.
Flights without clearance are not allowed.
I did Bembridge - Caen (wx diversion instead of non-stop to Poitiers) - Poitiers - Carcassonne - Reus and then Reus - Carcassonne - Limoges - Deauville - Redhill in 2008.
Would look at Chateauroux for free landings next time I'm that way (and the fact that my mum lives slightly closer to there than Limoges).
Happy New Year and many thanks all for your swift and very helpful responses.
Our planned destination is Muchamiel, I originally stated Alicante to save those unacquainted with it some time. I am already reasonably familiar with that area of the Costa Blanca having previously rented a Muchamiel club C152 for a jolly along the coast.
With the benefit of the advice given, the following outbound route now looks favourable:
LFAT LE TOUQUET-PARIS PLAGE - ROU
ROU - LGL
LGL - LFRM LE MANS-ARNAGE
LFRM LE MANS-ARNAGE - LFBI POITIERS-BIARD
LFBI POITIERS-BIARD - LFBE BERGERAC-ROUMANIERE
LFBE BERGERAC-ROUMANIERE - GAI
GAI - LFMK CARCASSONNE-SALVAZA
LFMK CARCASSONNE-SALVAZA - LFMP PERPIGNAN-RIVESALTES
LFMP PERPIGNAN-RIVESALTES - LEGE GIRONA
LEGE GIRONA - LERS REUS
LERS REUS - LEVC VALENCIA-MANISES
LEVC VALENCIA-MANISES - LEMU MUCHAMIEL
With appropriate fuel stops and an overnight around mid-route.
We’ll plan a different route for the return journey but will have the reverse of the above to fall back on if required.
Last edited by cessnafixedwing on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Circumnavigating the Barcelona zone (VFR) has got the old grey matter working overtime, any additional tips / suggestions would be appreciated
I've used two methods of getting through Barcelona airspace.
All at 900ft agl - Routed via 'CLE' vor - N-Terrasa (vrp to NW of Sabadell) - "VLA"vor - E-Roda de Bara (vrp to east of Reus).
If you can get a word in edgewise from Barcelona they may give you something more direct (They didn't with me and just left us to go round without any permissions or directives - So just remained outside/below their airspace!)
Contacted Barcelona - who eventually responded - I can't remember what height they assigned but it could have been 1500ft. They routed us via Mataro (vrp) - 'E' (vrp for Sabadell) - Overhead Sabadell (but don't fall into the trap of going through Sabadell Class D airspace without getting THEIR permission!) - 'Rubo' vrp - 'Martorell' vrp - "Vilafranca del Penedes' vrp - 'E-Roda de Bara' vrp.
Signed: EGHHZXAC - Life's tough if you don't weaken.
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